The Best Books About the Beatles

atkins-bookshelf-booksThe Beatles burst onto the musical scene in early 1963 with the release of their first album, Please Please Me, recorded in a single day. The Fab Four — John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr — redefined rock with their innovative sound and ingenious lyrics. The Beatles are consistently regarded as the greatest and most influential rock band of all time; in 2004, Rolling Stone named the Beatles as the greatest musical artist of all time. The Beatles have also been one of the most commercially successful bands, selling more than 1 billion albums.

It can be argued that the Beatles not only changed the world of music, but the world itself. Beatle expert Mark Lewisohn, who has written what is considered the definitive biography of the Beatles, states: “It all boils down to this. They were four war babies from Liverpool who really did change the world, and whose music and impact still lives on in so many ways, after all these years.” The Beatles were creatures of their time, born at a significant cultural cross-roads in history. In his article, “The 10 Best Rock Bands Ever,” Eric Olsen, editor of, focuses on this creative crucible: “Almost miraculously, [the Beatles] embodied the apex of the form artistically, commercially, culturally and spiritually at just the right time, the tumultuous ’60s, when music had the power to literally change the world (or at least to give the impression that it could, which may be the same thing). The Beatles are the archetype: there is no term in the language analogous to Beatlemania.” And 5 decades later, Beatlemania has not waned, as new generations explore and reinterpret the music of the Beatles in modern times. To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Beatles, biographers have placed the Beatles under the microscope to better understand and appreciate the creative genius of the legendary Fab Four and the events and musical artists that shaped them.

100 Best Beatles Songs by Stephen Spignesi
100 Things Beatles Fans Should Know and Do Before They Die by Gillian Gaar
A Hard Day’s Write: The Stories Behind Every Beatles Song by Steve Turner
All the Songs: The Story Behind Every Beatle Release by Philippe Margotin
Beatles Gear: All the Fab Four’s Instruments from Stage to Studio by Andy Babiuk

Beatleness: How the Beatles and Their Fans Remade the World by Candy Leonard
The Beatles SOLO Boxed Set (4 volumes): The Illustrated Chronicles by Mat Snow
Eight Arms to Hold You: 50 Years of Help! and the Beatles by Simon Wells

Fab: An Intimate Life of Paul McCartney by Howard Sounes
Fab Gear: The Beastles and Fashion by Paolo Hewitt

Fifty Years with the Beatles by Tim Hill and Robert Whitaker
John by Cynthia Lennon
John Lennon: The Life by Philip Norman
John Paul, George & Ringo: The Defintive Illustrated Chronicles of the Beatles (1960-1970) by Tim Hill
Man on the Run: Paul McCartney in the 1970s by Tom Doyle
Read the Beatles by June Sawyers
Shout! The Beatles in their Generation by Philip Norman
The Beatles Anthology by The Beatles

The Beatles are Here! 50 Years After the Band Arrived in America by Penelope Rowlands
The Beatles at Shea Stadium: The Story Behind Their Greatest Concert by Dave Schwensen
The Beatles Every Little Thing: A Compendium of Witty Weird and Surprising Facts about the Fab Four by Maxwell MacKenzie
The Beatles in 100 Objects by Brian Southall
The Beatles in America Poster Book by Mark Hayward
The Beatles in America: The 50th Anniversary by Jonathan Gould
The Beatles Lyrics: The Unseen Story Behind Their Music by The Beatles and Hunter Davies
The Beatles Solo: The Illustrated Chronicles of John, Paul, George, and Ringo After the Beatles by Mat Snow

The Beatles: The BBC Archives (1962-1970)
The Beatles: The Biography by Bob Spitz
The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions: The Official Story of the Abbey Road Years 1962-1970 by Mark Lewisohn and Paul McCartney
The Fifth Beatle: The Brian Epstein Story by Vivek Tiwary
The John Lennon Letters by John Lennon and Hunter Davies
The Love You Make: An Insider’s Story of the Beatles by Peter Brown
The Unreleased Beatles: Music and Film by Richie Unterberger
Tune In: The Beatles : All These Years by Mark Lewisohn
When They Were Boys: The True Story of the Beatles’ Rise to the Top by Larry Kane

Read related posts: Origin of the Beatles Name
How Rock Bands Got Their Names
The Most Misinterpreted Songs
Best Books for Music Lovers

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